Do you need help with your child? Play Therapy, also known as Child Therapy, is a specific counselling approach designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Such child counselling is a way of helping children to cope with trauma and emotional difficulties they may have experienced. Play Therapy works through common problems that may range from aggression, anxiety and ADHD, to Autism, depression, post traumatic stress and social withdrawal. There are numerous reasons as to why a child would require the assistance of a qualified Child Psychologist:
– Abuse/ sexual abuse
– Chronic illness
– Domestic violence
How does Play Therapy work?
The initial focus of child therapy is on building a relationship between a child and the therapist. This is vital as the child or adolescent needs to feel respected before they can express their emotions to the therapist. The idea behind play therapy is to allow for the child to feel supported and safe enough to learn about who they are, and communicate their fears with the therapist through the use of games, painting, arts and crafts etc.
Children are not miniature adults and not all children are alike.
Just as children vary in age, gender, and social circumstance, so they vary in their characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. In conducting Play Therapy with children, it is frequently necessary to adapt treatments to characteristics of the individual child. It is necessary to adjust play therapy to the developmental level of the child and to meet children at their developmental level, cognitively, socially, and emotionally.
Parental involvement in Play Therapy
Parent involvement is important in child counselling and parents will be asked to meet with the child psychologist at various times. Parents will be asked to contribute to their child’s progress by working with the therapist on changes that can be introduced into the home environment. However, they will not be party to the child’s sessions unless the form of child therapy calls for that particular style of intervention.
The Goal of Play Therapy:
Child psychologists aim to allow children and adolescents to learn how to become better at expressing their emotions in constructive ways. They assist with helping them find their strong and weak points, as well as their needs and dreams. With this training in social skills, a child would become more assertive, self-confident and self-respectful.